March 9, 2013

Solidarity with Israeli Apartheid Week, free Palestine!

Statement by the International Commission, YCL

The Canadian government's position on Israel has gone from shamefully silent to actively supportive of violence, occupation and apartheid in the few short years of the Harper Conservative Party regime. The latest of the Harper government’s attack on the Palestinian people is voting against the UN’s recognition of Palestine as a state. The Canadian government, along with just a handful of other countries, including the US and Israel, voted against making Palestine a non-member observer state.Canada’s Minister of foreign affairs, John Baird, stated that official recognition of Palestine “will undermine the objective of reaching a comprehensive, lasting and just settlement for both sides”.

Harper’s blind support of this violent and racist government is in fact accomplishing the opposite. By actively supporting the Israeli government, Harper is supporting the recent war ("Operation Pillar of Defense") that saw hundreds of Palestinian murdered, including children. Israeli "strategic" targets included soccer stadiums, media stations, and bureaucratic offices. The Canadian government's support continues the degradation and oppression of Palestine, perpetuating the cycle of poverty, violence and racism against the Palestinian people, which increases violence. The Conservatives support contributes to Israel’s continued actions that do nothing but further escalate the conflict in the region, creating further bloodshed that is crippling the Palestinian people.

The Harper government’s position on the Zionist Israeli war machine is in line with the US, the Christian far-right, and the world’s largest multi-national corporations. This position undermines Palestinians, the Middle East, and the Canadian people; only 19% of Canadians believe that Canada should even support the state of Israel. Canadians have strongly supported the Freedom Flotilla and now the Gaza Ark project. Moreover, the vast majority of the world supports Palestinian statehood.

The Harper government continues to embarrass the Canadian people and further isolate Canada from the rest of the world. Harper’s continued support of Israel is yet another example of Canada becoming a 'rogue state' in the international community, where the government's persistent deviance on climate change action towards a self-serving policy of stalling world-wide climate change negotiations, cutting off all diplomatic ties with Iran and the backing of repressive regimes in the Middle East, are only a few.

We continue to stand in full solidarity with the sovereign Palestinian people in their demand for full statehood immediately with East Jerusalem as the capital. Swift and just peace can not be brought about until there is immediate cessation and withdrawal of all settlements and dismantlement of the Israeli Apartheid Wall, release of all Palestinian political prisoners and detainees, guarantee of the right of return, and at a minimum respect of the 1967 Green Line boundaries.

We salute the thousands of Palestinian detainees who succeeded, by their hunger strike, in helping expose the occupation -- they had to hunger strike just to wing very basic humanitarian conditions inside the jails. We salute the Union of Palestinian Democratic Youth and their comrade Samer Issawi who is on hunger strike for 222 days, since he was re-arrested and held without a conviction (after being released in the 2011 Shalit’s Deal prisoner exchange after almost ten years in jail). We also express our solidarity with George Abdallah, a Lebanese left-wing militant in arbitrarily in jail in France for 29 years, since 1984, because of his opposition to the occupation. Abdallah has been denied parole requests since 1999 and, while granted release by French courts this decision has been twice over-ruled by the French foreign minister.

It’s important for the youth, student and other progressive forces in Canada to stay informed, engaged and pressure the Harper government on this issue. In this direction the YCL endorses with full support Israeli Aparthied Week being held on campuses across Canada and now around the world. The Young Communist League of Canada demands that the Harper Conservative government reverse its attack on the people of Palestine and their demand to become truly independent and sovereign, with full support both financially and diplomatically. Until this is won, the YCL will continue to mobilize in solidarity with the Palestinian cause and support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.

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